Two in five Porteños have experienced discrimination at some point while living in Buenos Aires, most likely due to their nationality or because they were immigrants, a recent study published in La Nación reveals.
The report, which was conducted by the National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (INADI) in collaboration with the University of Buenos Aires’s (UBA) School of Philosophy and Letters, examined discrimination cases throughout the country and divided results by city. 780 cases were examined in the Greater Buenos Aires Area.
39 percent of respondents from the capital said they’d been targeted due to their nationality or immigration status, a 15-point hike from the national average; 18 percent said they’d felt discriminated due to their skin color, in what amounted to almost the same result as the national average; and 17 percent said they’d felt discriminated based on their socioeconomic status, a notable 10-point drop from the national average. (Who would have guessed Porteños were less snobby than other Argentines?)
Of note: only 7 percent and 5 percent of respondents said they’d ever experienced gender-based discrimination (“for being a woman,” the study reads). And no mention of discrimination based on sexual orientation was included (perhaps we’re to assume this was part of the ever-so-vague “other” category?).
Anti-immigrant sentiment is sadly unsurprising in the capital, where 13.2 percent of residents claim that immigrants are responsible for the unavailability of job opportunities, the study claims.
According to a July El País article, foreigners account for 4.5 percent of the total Argentine population and are especially concentrated in the capital, where they form a quarter of the population. The last government census, conducted in 2010 (yes, a long time ago), reports that the immigrant breakdown comes out to 24 percent from Paraguay, 20 percent from Peru, 14 percent from Europe (yes, we know that’s a continent and not a country) and 11 percent from Bolivia. (However, as El País kindly reminds us, these results are hardly accurate as the census did not bother with residents of the capital’s villas, where many immigrants live.)
At least, the study reports that 77 percent of those living in Buenos Aires feel there is a problem with discrimination.
On a final and (somewhat) uplifting note, the report concluded that 50 percent of locals would act with indifference if witness to an act of discrimination. In other words, the next time a Porteño plays witness to discrimination in the capital, reach into your pocket for a coin, flip it and call it in the air. The chances of calling it right are the same as that local reacting.